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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
feminism, craft, domesticity, photography, installation, marriage
As humans, we live in a state of dynamic, conflicting emotions. In moments of pain we experience joy and in moments of joy we have sorrow. In the work that culminates in my thesis show Lovely…, I visually celebrate the contradictions and dynamism of the joy and sadness of life. Just like the word “lovely,” which we may use to describe everything from a wedding ceremony to a funeral service, life is an indefinable experience. It fluctuates, never remaining in one moment or emotion for long. This dynamism creates the complexity of life, the beauty of life, and the path of life. As Joanna Freuh says, “life is sloppy” and, as an artist, I want to celebrate, question, and reveal the sloppiness of our lives. I use my daily life as the main subject of my work to make it honest and accessible. The idea of the work being honest, even painfully so, comes from my desire to be true to my emotions, insecurities, strengths, and intelligence without fear of ridicule or censure from a patriarchal society. By making work that resides within the realm of the everyday, I am attempting to defy and contest masculine censure. In effect, I reclaim my femininity: the quality of being feminine, without the fear of losing strength or respect. Though the autobiographical drives the work and is necessary for it to exist, ultimately it is transcended, enabling the viewer to have his or her own independent relationship to it.
Susan E. Jahoda